Gemayel, Aoun Agree on Importance of Holding Presidential Vote by May 25

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Kataeb party leader Amin Gemayel and Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun agreed Wednesday on the importance of holding the presidential elections by May 25.

Following talks with Aoun at his residence in Rabieh, Gemayel said: “We agreed on the importance of exerting all efforts to hold the polls as soon as possible.”

Gemayel called for preserving the institutions by holding the elections.

“We want a president capable” of doing so, he told reporters. The president “should comfort all the Lebanese.”

The former head of state and a member of the March 14 camp described the presidency as “the symbol of the nation.”

He also said that all politicians had good intentions to facilitate the voting process.

Aoun spoke after Gemayel, saying: “We insist that the elections be held in the coming weeks and before May 24.”

Gemayel met with Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea, the March 14 alliance’s only candidate for the country’s top Christian post.

His visit with top officials comes as part of an initiative he launched to avoid vacuum at Baabda Palace after parliament failed to elect a new head of state over differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances.

Labor Minister Sejaan Qazzi said Gemayel has suspended his candidacy for the presidency pending the result of parliamentary sessions to elect a new head of state.

Qazzi, who is a Kataeb official, said that Gemayel’s meetings with top officials fall in line with his decision to urge rival parties to overcome their differences and elect a new president before the expiry of Michel Suleiman’s six-year term.

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